Luisa Calcumil

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identity, ritual, roots, tradition
Performing Arts (theatre)
America, South, Europe, Southern, America, North, Africa, Southern
General South America, Argentina, Spain, Canada, South Africa
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created on:
January 21, 2004
last changed on:
Please note: This page has not been updated since December 12, 2005. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
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Luisa Calcumil

Luisa Calcumil has worked in theatre since 1975. She started as an actress, presenting twenty theatre performances and acting in five films of international importance and in various television programmes. Luisa says that Aimé Painé, the first renown Mapuche singer, has had a great influence on her life. Luisa always remembers Aimé saying: “El saber quien es uno es el principio de ser culto” (To know who you are is the first step of learning). After several years of performing without finding plays where she felt represented, Luisa started to write her own scripts or participating in the creation of performances in which she was protagonist. This is how It Is Good to Look at One´s Own Shadow and Hebras were created. At Roots in Transit Luisa is accompanied by Valeria Fidel and Cecilia García.
Author: Odin Teatret



Production / Performance,
Laila wanders the streets. Nelsón had brought her to live with his numerous family. One night he went fishing and did not return from the river. She remained with his family convinced that he would return as he always did before. She played the violin and this made her mother-in-law mad. It irritated her to see Laila play the violin instead of helping with the housework. One day the mother-in-law was drunk and she threatened to break the violin in two with a machete. Trying to rescue her instrument, Laila was cut. Since then her hand - the one that grips the violin cords - has all its fingers, but almost no tendons. First she wandered the streets without love, then without music. Now she wanders the streets and sees the road transform into the river and Nelson speaking to her from the riverbed. Some time later Inacal, a woman who sings, passes by the same streets. Inacal does not roam; she walks with an aim. Her song weeps, talking of memories, oblivion, courage and solitude. “Ovillo, urdimbre y por ¿dónde van las hebras?” Actors: Luisa Calcumil and Valeria Fidel Director: collective creation by Luisa Calcumil, Valeria Fidel, Cecilia García, Gabriela Ottogalli


Production / Performance,
The title of the performance is taken from a Mapuche proverb and the piece presents images with themes which are central for people who live off the land. The idea comes from the heritage of ancient ritual time, when nature guided the rhythm of life and relationships. This reality was abruptly interrupted with pain and death at the arrival of the white man who brought with him greed, contempt, wire fences and a system of consumerism and power wrapped in plastic. Grandmother Erminda lives in the country and she keeps hold of the memory, generosity, beliefs and hope of her ancestors. Her back is bent under centuries of oblivion. Her daughter Julia has moved to the city in search of a better life, but exploitation, abuse and shameful education make mincemeat of her mind and heart. At the brink of madness, her genes help her understand how to recover her centre and lost identity. From here Julia tries to give out some light in order to move forwards and allow us all to rethink our principles of justice, love and freedom. Actor and director: Luisa Calcumil Texts: Luisa Calcumil First performance in 1987


This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the partner institutions.

Roots in Transit IV

Women´s International Theatre Festival and Meeting

(15 January 04 - 25 January 04)


Odin Teatret